Retail

Less Time Spent Scheduling is More Time Spent with Employees

Patrick Gingras’s adventure as a franchisee began in 2012. Over time, he would co-own five stores under three different banners: two Thaïzone restaurants, two Vidéotron stores, and one Chocolats Favoris store.

Both well known and located, these establishments enjoy a high level of customer traffic. They’re also characterized by bouncing busy hours. The manpower requirements therefore change constantly hour to hour and day to day.

Every week, Patrick must manage some 100 employees working more than 1300 hours in total.

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Before / After (time per week)
Results for two Vidéotron, one Chocolats Favoris, and three Thaï Zone stores

Task
The old way
With Agendrix
Create schedule
7 h 30 (using Excel)
2 hours
Modify schedule
5 h 30 (using Excel)
45 minutes
Timesheets
1 hour (on paper)
15 minutes
Total
14 hours
3 hours


Important Challenges

Patrick's five locations share a common challenge: most of the employees work part-time because they're still in school or have two jobs. The schedules are therefore often variable and filled with constraints, particularly during exams.

In the past, Patrick used to plan his schedules on paper and on Excel. Each change leads to an email exchange between the managers. The employees would take a picture of the schedule on the wall, but since changes were commonly made, their version wasn't always up to date. Patrick then sometimes had to find a last-minute substitute or send redundant employees home.

The Staff Retention Challenge

Part-time employees often have priorities they deem more important than work. During labor shortage periods, they will not hesitate to quit an inflexible job. On their end, employers struggle to improve their staff retention to avoid having to hire and train new employees.

We used to create our stores’ schedules using Excel. This would take us more than 7 hours every week.

With such an inflexible scheduling system, it was hard not to be so strict with employee requests. For Patrick, schedule changes were so complex to make that he’d ask his employees to submit their requests at least two weeks ahead of time. He very well knew that this penalized employees and that they didn’t like it.

Expensive Hours

Managing extra hours is quite the challenge. On one hand, compensating employees for any work they do is important. On the other, omissions and excesses can be hard to manage and costly.

Before implementing Agendrix's time clock, the employees would pen extra or missed hours on the printed schedule. Patrick would then simply pay whatever was written on the schedule, even though he knowingly lost money. This process was inaccurate, but he had no choice but to trust his employees. The timesheets were modified by hand, then sent to payroll.

A Tailor-Made Solution

Since the introduction of Agendrix, Patrick has been creating his schedules four times faster. The employees now consult their schedule on their phone or online. Since updates are made in real time and trigger a notification, no change goes unnoticed. Planning mistakes have been practically eliminated. Missed calls and ignored emails are a thing of the past, as the app now handles communications.

Time once spent on repetitive tasks can now be dedicated where it matters: on the floor, with the employees. With more time for training and support, Patrick has ultimately improved his customer service.

Accurate Timesheets

Agendrix’s time clock kiosk automatically transmits starting, break, and finishing times to the timesheets. Everything is accurate and recorded error-free. The software also highlights the discrepancies between planned and clocked hours automatically. Verifying and exporting to payroll is now super simple.

Patrick quickly noticed that he was making significant savings on labor costs by having his employees punch in and out. Not to mention the time saved on managing timesheets.

Making Your Staff a Priority

Allowing employees to plan shift swaps with each other made the schedule more flexible on top of reducing Patrick’s management burden. The employees now do the organizational legwork, then submit their requests from the app itself. All that's left to do for the manager is to check the date and hour and approve or decline in a click. As needed, Agendrix’s instant messaging tool is useful for requesting additional info.

This makes managing last-minute requests with more flexibility that much easier. As a result, employee relations improve; they feel like their personal lives matter, and the atmosphere is better.


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